Thursday, January 16, 2014

Explanation of shooting spree unconvincing

KOTA KINABALU, January 16, 2014 (Thur): The police explanation of the shooting spree affecting 46 business premises here as the work of “naughty kids” is too facile, former Sabah chief minister Yong Teck Lee said on Thursday.

“It even took the police three days to clarify that the widely-circulated photos of two persons handcuffed, sitting on the floor in a police facility, were not that of the shooters in KK.

“As though it is not worrying enough that the police had no foreknowledge of the shooting spree, the police seem (to be) at a loss, even with the benefit of hindsight and after reviewing evidence gathered,” Yong said.

He added that it was equally worrisome when the Deputy Inspector General of Police blamed Sabah’s long coast line for possible smuggling of air guns used in the shooting, insinuating that the weapons were brought in from the Philippines.

“This amounts to a glaring admission that Sabah’s borders are still not sufficiently secured by ESSCOM.

“If air guns can be smuggled in and used in Kota Kinabalu by organised gangs, then it follows that real guns and bullets can be similarly smuggled into Sabah,” observed Yong who has been vocal about the security situation in the Sabah.

The apparently random shootings covering an extensive area of Kota Kinabalu and Penampang last weekend have jolted the confidence of those living here and questions are being raised of a bigger threat to Sabah’s security and the peoples’ safety, than what has been claimed by the authorities.

Yong said the unconvincing police explanation that the incident was the work of “budak nakal” (naughty kids) using air guns that shoot “guli” (marbles) only made the people sceptical about the identity and motive of the shooters.

“The sooner the police come up with coherent and clear information such as the probable motive of the shooters, the easier it will be for the public to comprehend what is happening and easier for people to spot possible trouble makers and report it to the police,” said Yong.

CCTV cameras that captured images of the alleged attackers at various premises showed young adults, not teenagers, and dispel the notion that this was the work of “naughty children”.

“It is safe to conclude that the groups of shooters knew their way driving around the city and had planned and executed the shootings in an organised fashion within a couple of hours, then disappeared.

“Is there a lapse in information gathering by CIDs, Special Branch, RELA, Civil Defence, JKKKs, JKDBs and other components of the local security network?” asked Yong, a former chairman of the Sabah Security Committee and now the leader of the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

He alleged that either the police have not been truthful about the information provided or they did not have a clue about what happened that night, right under their noses in the state capital.

By Queville To

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